home ›› copyright guidelines ›› What can I copy/communicate? ›› 2.2 Artistic Works and Photographs

2.2 Artistic Works and Photographs

| Back to Table of Contents |


Artistic works refer to drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, engravings, prints, mixed media works, cartoons, plans, maps, and logos.

See 1.3: What is Protected? for further information

Copying and communicating artistic works

In general, copyright in an artistic work will not be infringed where the copy or communication is done:

  1. Fair dealing 

    The copying of artistic works for fair dealing purposes is free and does not require the permission of the copyright owner. The relevant fair dealing exceptions are:

  2. Flexible dealing

    Schools/TAFE institutes can now use artistic works for non-commercial teaching purposes if the use is not covered by another exception or Statutory Licence. Most copying of artworks will be covered by the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence so the flexible dealings exception will not often apply.

    To use the flexible dealings exception, teachers must assess whether the proposed use:

    • is narrow
    • whether it would conflict with a normal way the copyright owner exploits the material and
    • whether the use would unreasonably harm the copyright owner

    One activity covered by the flexible dealings exception is making a three-dimensional sculpture of an image.

    Back to top

  3. Educational exceptions

    Copyright in artistic works is not infringed by:

    1. Communicating for classroom performance, eg displaying an artwork on an electronic whiteboard or in a virtual classroom
    2. Copying by hand
    3. Copying for exams
  4. Other statutory exceptions
    1. Works in public places

      Copyright in a sculpture, craftwork or building (and models of buildings) displayed permanently outdoors or in a place or building open to the public is not infringed by students or staff making a painting or photograph of it.

    2. Incidental use on television

      The use of an artwork in the background of a film or television program filmed by students and staff will not infringe copyright in the artwork, provided the use is incidental and does not form part of the main action being presented.

  5. Other relevant issues
    1. Artistic Works under the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence

      Artistic works are treated differently under the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence.

      See Education Licence B: Statutory Text and Artistic Licence: Artistic Works for further information

    2. Copying artistic works to include in the library collection

      A school library is able to reproduce an artistic work for inclusion in the school library's collection for the purpose of making it available to students for the purpose of research and study.

    3. Copyright in school photographs

      In most cases, the photographer will own the copyright in the school photographs, unless there is an agreement otherwise.

      For further information, see:

      1.10: Dealing with Copyright
      1.6(c): Copyright in School Photographs

    4. Moral rights

      You should always be aware that the creator of an artwork has moral rights in that work which must be respected.

      For further information, see:

      1.16: Moral Rights
      FAQs: Artistic Works and Photographs

| Back to Table of Contents |